Taking metoclopramide may cause you to develop a muscle problem called tardive dyskinesia. If you develop tardive dyskinesia, you will move your muscles, especially the muscles in your face in unusual ways. You will not be able to control or stop these movements. Tardive dyskinesia may not go away even after you stop taking metoclopramide. The longer you take metoclopramide, the greater the risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia. Therefore, your doctor will probably tell you not to take metoclopramide for longer than 12 weeks. The risk that you will develop tardive dyskinesia is also greater if you are taking medications for mental illness, if you have diabetes, or if you are elderly, especially if you are a woman. Call your doctor immediately if you develop any uncontrollable body movements, especially lip smacking, mouth puckering, chewing, frowning, scowling, sticking out your tongue, blinking, eye movements, or shaking arms or legs.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with metoclopramide and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( Web Site) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking metoclopramide.
Metoclopramide is used to relieve heartburn and speed the healing of ulcers and sores in the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) in people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus) that did not get better with other treatments. Metoclopramide is also used to relieve symptoms caused by slow stomach emptying in people who have diabetes. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, loss of appetite, and feeling of fullness that lasts long after meals. Metoclopramide is in a class of medications called prokinetic agents. It works by speeding the movement of food through the stomach and intestines.
Metoclopramide comes as a tablet, an orally disintegrating (dissolving) tablet, and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken 4 times a day on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before each meal and at bedtime. When metoclopramide is used to treat symptoms of GERD, it may be taken less frequently, especially if symptoms only occur at certain times of day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take metoclopramide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking the orally disintegrating tablet, use dry hands to remove the tablet from the package just before you take your dose. If the tablet breaks or crumbles, dispose of it and remove a new tablet from the package. Gently remove the tablet and immediately place it on the top of your tongue. The tablet will usually dissolve in about one minute and can be swallowed with saliva.
If you are taking metoclopramide to treat the symptoms of slow stomach emptying caused by diabetes, you should know that your symptoms will not improve all at once. You may notice that your nausea improves early in your treatment and continues to improve over the next 3 weeks. Your vomiting and loss of appetite may also improve early in your treatment, but it may take longer for your feeling of fullness to go away.
Continue to take metoclopramide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking metoclopramide without talking to your doctor. You may experience withdrawal symptoms such as dizziness, nervousness, and headaches when you stop taking metoclopramide.
Metoclopramide is also sometimes used to treat the symptoms of slowed stomach emptying in people who are recovering from certain types of surgery, and to prevent nausea and vomiting in people who are being treated with chemotherapy for cancer. Ask your doctor about the risks of using this medication to treat your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking metoclopramide,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your regular diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Metoclopramide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, or those mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
Metoclopramide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.